Tuesday, 24 November 2009

I promise not to comandeer a chieftain tank in order to invade Paris.

Points to whoever can identify my title reference. Without Google.

This time in five weeks, I shall be very close to arriving in Singapore, quite possibly looking forward to getting away from a slightly tipsy, over-chatty Welshman. Hang on. that was last time... Mum suggested yesterday that I start to work out which clothes I should take. Perhaps a little early to actually start stacking them up (they'll just go back into the wardrobe as quickly as they come out), but it's certainly time to start wondering which clothes I should replace (jeans), which need cleaning (downie) and which are just perfect as they are (ummm?). Then in a couple of weeks I'll start actually doing something about it.

Still hasn't sunk in that I'm going. Haven't really done much preparation except get my tickets and travel insurance, and practise jumping up and down excitedly in my head.

Anyway, in outdated preparation for living in the United Kingdom, I watched through the 12 episodes of Fawlty Towers over the weekend. I'd forgotten quite a few bits, but one of the best is here at 1:12.

If you're reading this on facebook, check it out in infinitely cooler form at my blog.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Checkerboard Cake

On mentioning how much I wanted to have a go at making this cake, I was told to put photos of it up. So here they are :) And no, I do not ever want to be a food photographer, so don't expect beautiful shots of glossy food on pristine plates. :P

So it's not going to turn out like this, but it's looking quite cool. Was looking through my Green and Black's Chocolate Recipes book, and found this, read the instructions and realised that it isn't nearly as complicated as it looked.

Part one was making two batches of mixture - chocolate and vanilla, but I didn't take a photo of them. Then I had to pipe the mixture into pans and bake them. You must note that this was my first ever go at piping, so excuse the wobbliness :D

Then, when they had cooled, I spread apricot jam (homemade, yummm!) on each layer, and stuck them together.

Then came the icing, which also is not amazing, but should taste good. Was supposed to be ganache, which is always so much better, but I didn't have any chocolate to melt for it.

So now I must just wait for the icing to set so I can cut it, and see if it looks at all checkerboardish.

A short time later:

I'm pretty excited that this worked! Yes it's a bit wonky, but it still looks great I reckon.

It tastes pretty good too, although I think there is perhaps a little too much butter. I already reduced it a little, but I might do so again if I use this recipe again.

But there you go. It wasn't very complicated, although it took a while. And it was pretty satisfying to cut it and find that it worked.